Thug with history for violence jailed again for attacking police with a knife

A criminal with a history of extreme violence attacked a team of police officers with a knife after they tried to arrest him.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 12:30 pm

Sean Gardiner was sprayed in the face with pepper spray before he burst out of a house waving the knife around at the officers, Leeds Crown Court was told.

The 37-year-old, who has spent the majority of his adult life behind bars, has been jailed for almost seven years after admitting charges of affray, threats to kill and ABH all relating to the incident on Queen's Square in Pontefract on November 17 last year.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Sharp said Gardiner had been released from prison in March 2020 on licence and was put in accommodation and had an electronic tag fitted to his leg.

Sean Gardiner is back behind bars.
Sean Gardiner is back behind bars.

On November 17 last year officers visited his address to speak with him over an alleged street assault on a member of the public but was not at the property and removed the tag from his leg.

He was traced to the address on Queen's Square, with four officers attending at around 10am.

Gardiner was in the property with a woman and her young child, but they denied the officers entry.

Gardiner then began shouting through a first-floor window and said: "The first one of you in this house before I'm ready is getting it. The first one is getting stabbed to death."

He then went down to the kitchen where he pulled a large carving knife out of a drawer and lunged at a female officer who had her arm through an open window, catching and cutting her finger with the blade.

She then sprayed him with the incapacitant and he retreated back. He was then sprayed again by another officer when he opened the back door, but shouted: "I've had worse than that in prison."

He then burst out of the door waving the knife at the officers who were forced to move out of the way and he ran off.

He jumped over fences and ran through gardens but was finally captured after he jumped from the roof of the nearby King's Croft Hotel.

The court was told he has 19 convictions for 29 offences, including multiple assaults and wounding.

He was jailed for an indeterminate length in 2008 after stabbing a friend in the chest following an argument, causing a collapsed lung. He was only released from that sentence in March last year on licence.

Mitigating, Christopher Morton, said that during his last two years in prison, Gardiner had been receiving psychiatric treatment which came to and when he was released, despite being assured it would continue. This was put down to the pandemic lockdown coming into force.

Mr Morton said: "The level of support available when he left prison did not happen as promised. He made repeated requests for help."

He said that a doctor's report found that Gardiner's anger "emerges without warning" and is "emotionally unstable with paranoid traits".

Mr Morton added that Gardiner had a difficult upbringing and suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after he himself was stabbed.

Gardiner was also upset for being arrested over the assault on a member of the public, which he was never charged with.

He said that since turning 18, Gardiner had only been free for just 27 months having spent the rest of his time in prison.

Judge Penelope Belcher described him as a clear danger to the public, adding: "It was a thoroughly frightening incident for all concerned.

"Not only were there threats to kill officers, it was conducted in the presence of your partner and her three-year-old child."

She jailed him for 81 months, 45 to be served in custody with 36 months spent on licence.